Forty odd years ago, when I bought my first camera, 35mm point-and-shoot units were much bulkier and substantially heavier than today's compact digital cameras. That was before the widespread replacement of metal and glass with polycarbonate and plastic. Digital cameras don't need film, so substantial space was saved by not having to accommodate a 35mm or APS film cassette.
Factor in much smaller electro-mechanical components and the miniaturized zooms used in today's digital cameras and thin credit card sized digital cameras are no longer a photographer's fantasy. Even compact digicams like the new Nikon Coolpix S9100 are much smaller and significantly lighter than their predecessors.
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